Shawnee Mission announces new principals for Merriam Park, Rhein Benninghoven and Rushton

Jay Senter - March 12, 2018 9:00 am

Three Shawnee Mission elementary schools will have new principals for the 2018-19 school year, the district announced Friday afternoon.

Merriam Park in Merriam, Rhein Benninghoven in Shawnee and Rushton in Mission will all be getting new leaders.

Here is the background information interim superintendent Kenny Southwick provided about the three new principals:

Amy Simeonov will become principal at Merriam Park Elementary School.

Serving in education for 20 years, Amy Simeonov has been a teacher in first through fifth grade classrooms. She’s also coached middle school sports including volleyball, basketball and track. She’s served as principal at Rushton Elementary for six years. Prior to her employment with the Shawnee Mission School District, Mrs. Simeonov was with the Basehor Linwood School District.

Mrs. Simeonov earned a degree in Education at Kansas State University. She earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Emporia State University.

Brittany Gonser will become principal at Rhein Benninghoven Elementary School.

During the last three years, Brittany Gonser served in a variety of roles in the Shawnee Mission School District. She was an instructional coach at ApachelS before becoming an administrative intern at Shawanoe Elementary. She also has experience as a classroom teacher in the Turner School District.

Mrs. Gonser earned a bachelor’s degree in Education at The University of Kansas and a master’s degree from Rockhurst University. She is currently completing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at Baker University.

Kristy Fornal will become principal at Rushton Elementary School.

Kristy Fornal has been an administrative intern at Rising Star Elementary for the past two years. Previously, Mrs. Fornal was an assistant principal at Earl Lawson Elementary in Leavenworth.

Mrs. Fornal has been in K-12 education for the past 18 years. Her experience includes serving as an instructional coach, a reading interventionist, an elementary and middle school special education teacher as well as a third-grade teacher.

Current Rhein Benninghoven Principal Mary Riley submitted her letter of resignation to the district earlier this year, effective June 30.

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